Central Asia :: Kazakhstan
  • Introduction :: Kazakhstan
  • Background:

    Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes with additional Persian cultural influences, migrated to the region by the 13th century. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. Repression and starvation associated with forced agricultural collectivization led to a massive number of deaths in the 1930s. During the 1950s and 1960s, the agricultural "Virgin Lands" program led to an influx of immigrants (mostly ethnic Russians, but also other nationalities) and at the time of Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, ethnic Kazakhs were a minority. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs back to Kazakhstan. As a result of this shift, the ethnic Kazakh share of the population now exceeds two-thirds.

    Kazakhstan's economy is the largest in the Central Asian states, mainly due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: diversifying the economy, obtaining membership in global and regional international economic institutions, enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.

  • Geography :: Kazakhstan
  • Location:
    Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in easternmost Europe
    Geographic coordinates:
    48 00 N, 68 00 E
    Map references:
    Asia
    Area:
    total: 2,724,900 sq km
    land: 2,699,700 sq km
    water: 25,200 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Area - comparative:
    slightly less than four times the size of Texas
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 13,364 km
    border countries (5): China 1765 km, Kyrgyzstan 1212 km, Russia 7644 km, Turkmenistan 413 km, Uzbekistan 2330 km
    Coastline:
    0 km (landlocked); note - Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)
    Maritime claims:
    none (landlocked)
    Climate:
    continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
    Terrain:
    vast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 387 m
    lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
    highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
    Natural resources:
    major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 77.4% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 8.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 68.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 1.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 21.4% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    20,660 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country
    Natural hazards:
    earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty
    Environment - current issues:
    radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; desertification; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
    Geography - note:
    world's largest landlocked country and one of only two landlocked countries in the world that extends into two continents (the other is Azerbaijan); Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050
  • People and Society :: Kazakhstan
  • Population:
    18,744,548 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Nationality:
    noun: Kazakhstani(s)
    adjective: Kazakhstani
    Ethnic groups:
    Kazakh (Qazaq) 68%, Russian 19.3%, Uzbek 3.2%, Ukrainian 1.5%, Uighur 1.5%, Tatar 1.1%, German 1%, other 4.4% (2019 est.)
    Languages:
    Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 83.1% (understand spoken language) and trilingual (Kazakh, Russian, English) 22.3% (2017 est.); Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)
    Religions:
    Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (mainly Russian Orthodox), other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 26.09% (male 2,406,397 /female 2,483,562)
    15-24 years: 13.55% (male 1,295,882 /female 1,244,540)
    25-54 years: 42.32% (male 3,884,454 /female 4,049,072)
    55-64 years: 10.14% (male 831,872 /female 1,068,651)
    65 years and over: 7.9% (male 517,471 /female 962,647) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 50.4 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 40.3 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.2 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 9.8 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 30.9 years
    male: 29.7 years
    female: 32.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Population growth rate:
    0.98% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Birth rate:
    17.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Death rate:
    8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Net migration rate:
    0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Population distribution:
    most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 57.4% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    1.829 million Almaty, 1.068 million ASTANA (capital), 982,000 Shimkent (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 0.94 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.54 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    25 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    12 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 21.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 71.4 years
    male: 66.2 years
    female: 76.3 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Total fertility rate:
    2.22 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    54.8% (2018)
    note: percent of women aged 18-49
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 99.4% of population
    rural: 85.6% of population
    total: 92.9% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.6% of population
    rural: 14.4% of population
    total: 7.1% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure:
    3.9% (2015)
    Physicians density:
    3.25 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    6.7 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 97% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 98.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 3% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 1.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    27,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <1000 (2017 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    21% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    2% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Education expenditures:
    2.9% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 99.8%
    male: 99.8%
    female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2017)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 3.9%
    male: 3.6%
    female: 4.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
  • Government :: Kazakhstan
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
    conventional short form: Kazakhstan
    local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
    local short form: Qazaqstan
    former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
    etymology: the name "Kazakh" derives from the Turkic word "kaz" meaning "to wander," recalling the Kazakh's nomadic lifestyle; the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Kazakhstan literally means "Land of the Wanderers"
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Nur-Sultan
    geographic coordinates: 51 10 N, 71 25 E
    time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

    note 1: Kazakhstan has two time zones

    note 2: on 20 March 2019, Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city from Astana to Nur-Sultan in honor of its long-serving, recently retired president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV; this was not the first time the city had its name changed; founded in 1830 as Akmoly, it became Akmolinsk in 1832, Tselinograd in 1961, Akmola (Aqmola) in 1992, and Astana in 1998

    Administrative divisions:
    14 provinces (oblyslar, singular - oblys) and 4 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty (Taldyqorghan), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Astana*, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr*, Mangghystau (Aqtau), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Shymkent*, Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Turkistan, Zhambyl (Taraz)

    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

    Independence:
    16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 16 December (1991)
    Constitution:
    history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995
    amendments: introduced by a referendum initiated by the president of the republic, on the recommendation of Parliament, or by the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments by Parliament requires four-fifths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one-half of the voters in at least two-thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2019 (2019)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kazakhstan
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV (since 20 March 2019); note - Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who was president since 24 April 1990 (and in power since 22 June 1989 under the Soviet period), resigned on 20 March 2019; NAZARBAYEV retained the title and powers of "First President"; TOKAYEV completed NAZARBAYEV's term, which was shortened due to the early election of 9 June 2019, and then continued as president following his election victory
    head of government: Prime Minister Askar MAMIN (since 25 February 2019); First Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan SMAILOV (since 25 February 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Zhenis KASSYMBEK and Gulshara ABDYKALIKOVA (since 25 February 2019)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 9 June 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis
    election results: Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV (Nur Otan) 71%, Amirzhan KOSANOV (Ult Tagdyry) 16.2%, Daniya YESPAYEVA (Ak Zhol) 5.1%, other 7.7%
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
    Senate (49 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by majority 2-round vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 15 members appointed by decree of the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
    Mazhilis (107 seats; 98 members directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 9 indirectly elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, a 350-member, presidentially appointed advisory body designed to represent the country's ethnic minorities)
    elections:
    Senate - last held on 28 June 2017 (next to be held in 2020)
    Mazhilis - last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held by 2021)
    election results:  
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 42, women 5, percent of women 10.6%
    Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur Otan 82.2%, Ak Zhol 7.2%, Communist People's Party 7.1%, other 3.5%; seats by party - Nur Otan 84, Ak Zhol 7, Communist People's Party 7; composition - men 78, women 29, percent of women 27.1%; note - total Parliament percent of women 22.1%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of the chairman and 6 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the president of the republic on recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council and confirmed by the Senate; judges normally serve until age 65 but can be extended to age 70; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, and the Mazhilis chairperson each appoints 2 members for a 6-year term; chairman of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president for a 6-year term
    subordinate courts: regional and local courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Party or Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol [Azat PERUASHEV]
    Birlik (Unity) Party [Serik SULTANGALI]
    Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [informal leader Aikyn KONUROV]
    National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]
    Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) Democratic People's Party [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV]
    People's Democratic (Patriotic) Party "Auyl" [Ali BEKTAYEV]
    Ult Tagdyry (Conscience of the Nation)
    International organization participation:
    ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Yerzhan KAZYKHANOV (since 24 April 2017)
    chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845
    consulate(s) general: New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador William MOSER (since 27 March 2019)
    embassy: Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave. No 3, Astana 010010
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [7] (7172) 70-21-00
    FAX: [7] (7172) 54-09-14
    consulate(s) general: Almaty
    Flag description:
    a gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future
    National symbol(s):
    golden eagle; national colors: blue, yellow
    National anthem:
    name: "Menin Qazaqstanim" (My Kazakhstan)
    lyrics/music: Zhumeken NAZHIMEDENOV and Nursultan NAZARBAYEV/Shamshi KALDAYAKOV

    note: adopted 2006; President Nursultan NAZARBAYEV played a role in revising the lyrics

  • Economy :: Kazakhstan
  • Economy - overview:

    Kazakhstan's vast hydrocarbon and mineral reserves form the backbone of its economy. Geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, Kazakhstan, g possesses substantial fossil fuel reserves and other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper, and zinc. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. The government realizes that its economy suffers from an overreliance on oil and extractive industries and has made initial attempts to diversify its economy by targeting sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing for greater development and investment. It also adopted a Subsoil Code in December 2017 with the aim of increasing exploration and investment in the hydrocarbon, and particularly mining, sectors.

    Kazakhstan's oil production and potential is expanding rapidly. A $36.8 billion expansion of Kazakhstan’s premiere Tengiz oil field by Chevron-led Tengizchevroil should be complete in 2022. Meanwhile, the super-giant Kashagan field finally launched production in October 2016 after years of delay and an estimated $55 billion in development costs. Kazakhstan’s total oil production in 2017 climbed 10.5%.

    Kazakhstan is landlocked and depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. It also exports oil directly to China. In 2010, Kazakhstan joined Russia and Belarus to establish a Customs Union in an effort to boost foreign investment and improve trade. The Customs Union evolved into a Single Economic Space in 2012 and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in January 2015. Supported by rising commodity prices, Kazakhstan’s exports to EAEU countries increased 30.2% in 2017. Imports from EAEU countries grew by 24.1%.

    The economic downturn of its EAEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices from 2014 to 2016 contributed to an economic slowdown in Kazakhstan. In 2014, Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, and announced a stimulus package to cope with its economic challenges. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economy, Kazakhstan announced in 2015 it would replace its currency band with a floating exchange rate, leading to a sharp fall in the value of the tenge. Since reaching a low of 391 to the dollar in January 2016, the tenge has modestly appreciated, helped by somewhat higher oil prices. While growth slowed to about 1% in both 2015 and 2016, a moderate recovery in oil prices, relatively stable inflation and foreign exchange rates, and the start of production at Kashagan helped push 2017 GDP growth to 4%.

    Despite some positive institutional and legislative changes in the last several years, investors remain concerned about corruption, bureaucracy, and arbitrary law enforcement, especially at the regional and municipal levels. An additional concern is the condition of the country’s banking sector, which suffers from poor asset quality and a lack of transparency. Investors also question the potentially negative effects on the economy of a contested presidential succession as Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, turned 77 in 2017.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $478.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $460.3 billion (2016 est.)
    $455.3 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 42
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $159.4 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    4% (2017 est.)
    1.1% (2016 est.)
    1.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $26,300 (2017 est.)
    $25,700 (2016 est.)
    $25,800 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 79
    Gross national saving:
    23.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    21.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    25.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 53.2% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 11.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 4.8% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 35.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -27.1% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 34.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 61.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    grain (mostly spring wheat and barley), potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock
    Industries:
    oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
    Industrial production growth rate:
    5.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Labor force:
    8.97 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 18.1%
    industry: 20.4%
    services: 61.6% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    5% (2017 est.)
    5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Population below poverty line:
    2.6% (2016 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 4.2%
    highest 10%: 23.3% (2016)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    26.3 (2013)
    31.5 (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Budget:
    revenues: 35.48 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 38.3 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    22.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Public debt:
    20.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    7.4% (2017 est.)
    14.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Central bank discount rate:
    11% (10 April 2017)
    12% (9 January 2017)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    14.17% (31 December 2017 est.)
    15.34% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Stock of narrow money:
    $14.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $13.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Stock of broad money:
    $14.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $13.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $54.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $55.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $741.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $4.737 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $26.23 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Current account balance:
    -$5.353 billion (2017 est.)
    -$8.874 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Exports:
    $49.29 billion (2017 est.)
    $37.26 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Exports - partners:
    Italy 17.9%, China 11.9%, Netherlands 9.8%, Russia 9.3%, Switzerland 6.4%, France 5.9% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal
    Imports:
    $31.85 billion (2017 est.)
    $28.07 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs
    Imports - partners:
    Russia 38.9%, China 16.1%, Germany 5.1%, US 4.3% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $30.75 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $29.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Debt - external:
    $167.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $163.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $161.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $143.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $35.04 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $32.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Exchange rates:
    tenge (KZT) per US dollar -
    326.3 (2017 est.)
    342.13 (2016 est.)
    342.13 (2015 est.)
    221.73 (2014 est.)
    179.19 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Kazakhstan
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    100.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Electricity - consumption:
    94.23 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Electricity - exports:
    5.1 billion kWh (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Electricity - imports:
    1.318 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    20.15 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    86% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Crude oil - production:
    1.777 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Crude oil - exports:
    1.409 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Crude oil - imports:
    1,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    30 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    290,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    274,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    105,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    39,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Natural gas - production:
    22.41 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Natural gas - consumption:
    15.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Natural gas - exports:
    12.8 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Natural gas - imports:
    5.748 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    2.407 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    304.6 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
  • Communications :: Kazakhstan
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 3,697,300
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 26.473 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 143 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: one of the most progressive telecoms sectors in Central Asia; vast 4G network; low fixed-line and fixed-broadband penetration, moderate mobile broadband penetration and high mobile penetration
    domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; number of fixed-line connections is 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage increased rapidly and the subscriber base approaches 143 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 7; international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
    Broadcast media:
    the state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; there are 96 TV channels, many of which are owned by the government, and 4 state-run radio stations; some former state-owned media outlets have been privatized; households with satellite dishes have access to foreign media; a small number of commercial radio stations operate along with state-run radio stations; recent legislation requires all media outlets to register with the government and all TV providers to broadcast in digital format by 2018; broadcasts reach some 99% of the population as well as neighboring countries
    Internet country code:
    .kz
    Internet users:
    total: 14,100,751
    percent of population: 76.8% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 2,573,500
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
  • Transportation :: Kazakhstan
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 10 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 71 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 5,081,631 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 37,669,008 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    UP (2016)
    Airports:
    96 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 63 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 10 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 25 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 15 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)
    under 914 m: 8 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 33 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 5 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)
    under 914 m: 13 (2013)
    Heliports:
    3 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    658 km condensate, 15,256 km gas (2017), 8,013 km oil (2017), 1,095 km refined products, 1,975 km water (2016) (2017)
    Railways:
    total: 16,614 km (2017)
    broad gauge: 16,614 km 1.520-m gauge (4,200 km electrified) (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Roadways:
    total: 95,409 km (2017)
    paved: 81,814 km (2017)
    unpaved: 13,595 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Waterways:
    4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Merchant marine:
    total: 121
    by type: general cargo 3, oil tanker 10, other 108 (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur'yev)
    river port(s): Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk) (Irtysh River)
  • Military and Security :: Kazakhstan
  • Military expenditures:
    0.84% of GDP (2017)
    0.82% of GDP (2016)
    3.45% of GDP (2015)
    1.04% of GDP (2014)
    1.08% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Military branches:
    Kazakhstan Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Defense Forces (2017)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 2 years, but Kazakhstan is transitioning to a largely contract force; military cadets in intermediate (ages 15-17) and higher (ages 17-21) education institutes are classified as military service personnel (2017)
  • Transnational Issues :: Kazakhstan
  • Disputes - international:

    in January 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the demarcation agreement of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border; the demarcation of the Kazakh-Uzbek borders is ongoing; the ongoing demarcation with Russia began in 2007; demarcation with China completed in 2002

    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    stateless persons: 7,690 (2018)
    Illicit drugs:
    significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; significant consumer of opiates